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Some interesting facts about beards in the Arab world

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Some interesting facts about beards in the Arab world

Postby Kay » Tue 5 Feb 2013 10:36 GMT

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-20877090

Are beards common where you live? People in Egypt are saying that being allowed to have a beard is a matter of civil rights. Civil servants were forbidden to have one.

On the other hand, enforced conformity in some cultures restricts people's rights too. Almost every Afghan man has a beard. Pakistanis nearly all have moustaches. Some of it is a cultural norm, other times rules about facial hair are enforced by religion.

It's an odd thing. On a different, but similar subject, wasn't there a Far Eastern country (China?) who outlawed what they classed a being "modern" haircuts?

Why does hair seem to matter so much?
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Postby JJ » Tue 5 Feb 2013 21:59 GMT

Some time, perhaps ten years ago, EDS, the massive IT consultancy then run by Ross Perot, banned employees from having beards. Only they permitted beards for religious reasons, thus having both an arbitrary and unreasonable employment policy and discriminating on the grounds of religion. One bearded employee refused, was terminated and successfully took them to court. The subsequent dotcom collapse gave them bigger problems to worry about so we'll never know how it might have played out.
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Postby Dave » Wed 6 Feb 2013 01:37 GMT

Albania's Communist regime used to have strict rules on men's hair - you couldn't wear it long, and full beards weren't allowed. The first measure was against the decadent West, the second was anti-religious.

Why does hair seem to matter so much? Probably because it's a readily visible and easily styled aspect of the appearance, so it's easy to see if people are conforming.
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